Image via Flickr by Jeremy Levine
Home improvement and mobile devices might seem like an odd fit. After all, most smartphone users are browsing on the go, away from the comforts of the space they would be designing. Inspiration, however, is fickle and can strike anywhere: at work, on the subway, or your favorite coffeehouse. Here are some apps to help you document and categorize such inconvenient moments of zen, as well as allowing you to spend some cold, hard cash to turn the dreams into reality.
How-to guides are invaluable for those dedicated to theÂ DIY lifestyle, andÂ SnapguideÂ leads the field in this area, offering user-generated step-by-step instructions for a variety of projects. Not all of their guides fall into the home improvement category, but many do. Users can use the app to browse the work of others, or give something back by writing a new guide of their own. Snapguide is currently only available for Apple devices.
One Kings Lane
Are you the kind of decorator that watches Downton Abbey and wishes you could be a Crawley (though, perhaps with the modern medicine needed to fend off pesky diseases)? One Kings Lane is a shopping website with an elegant feel and a focus on vintage decor, although their daily sales specials help keep users from breaking their banks. Their app emphasizes their daily discounts and categorical orientation. Higher-end decorators, looking for that perfectly classy touch, will find inspiration as well as purchasable items in the site’s catalogs. One Kings Lane is available for Apple devices.
One of the best ways to prepare for a home improvement project is to network with others on the same path. Houzz offers an opportunity to do just that. Users can share and search images (browsing by styles or rooms), or seek out inspiration via the app’s idea books. The user can then compile useful items into their own idea book, and use the app to search and evaluate the local contractors necessary to turn their dreams into a reality. The site also offers select items for sale directly through the app. Houzz supports both Android and Apple devices.
Are you the kind of home decorator that likes to go back to basics? Then perhaps a program connecting you to fundamental home-improvement products directly is more your speed. Home Depot’s mobile allows you to purchase home items from your phone on the go. The freedom of an app, the value of bargain shopping, and DIY renovationÂ put the freedom to design in your own hands. Home Depot’s app is available for Android and Apple phones available from T-Mobile.
Fab refers to itself as devoted to “everyday design.” They carry a wide and deep selection of items, including decorations for your home, with an emphasis on the quirky and the unusual. They receive new stock from small manufacturers regularly, so checking their storefrontÂ frequently is a good idea. Their app notifies users of sales and features daily designs to fuel your home-improvement imagination. Fab’s app is available on both Apple devices and for Android.
Of course, good design choices can be found on a variety of websites, not just those featured here. FancyÂ is a site that allows users to tag and collect items from any site on the web. They also offer access to the lists of other users, and storefronts selling useful items. The associated mobile app lets users add photos to their catalogs directly from their phones, provides notifications when preset criteria are met, and, of course, allows customers to purchase items directly from the site. Fancy is available for Android and Apple devices.
Ultimately, the magic ingredient for any home decorating project is your own brain; no website or app can substitute for a well-thought-out plan. However, the above programs are potentially powerful tools when paired with human brain-power. By using them wisely, you should find the possibly arduous process of translating a sudden flash of genius into physical fact much easier.
What’s your favorite DIY decorating app? Share your go-to tools in the comments below.